The Fast Lane
PSA/Ford Diesel Prowess Reaching Critical Mass
With little fanfare to attend it here in North America, Ford is putting together a formidable diesel technology and production base on a global scale. Ford may not trumpet it very much locally, but they seem to really have the goods and lots more is coming. Even here they are putting 700-800 diesel-powered full-size pickups and vans on the road every day of the week via their supply agreement with International Truck & Engine. Plans for the 4.5L V-6 have been shelved for the moment, but development work continues at International. This is a powerplant for light trucks and SUVs.
The real news comes from Europe where the Ford partnership with PSA Peugeot Citroen continues to bear fruit by way of two new common rail diesels, the 1.6L HDi/Duratorq TDCi and the 2.0L HDi/ Duratorq TDCi. These were announced just ahead of the Geneva Motor Show and will be introduced on some models displayed there. They will be produced in Tremery, in the Moselle region of France.
The scale of the cooperative venture between Ford and PSA is tremendous. The first engine launched by this venture in 2001, a 1.4L diesel, is scheduled to reach production volume of 680,000 this year. It is currently producing the 1.4 at the rate of 2,400 units per day.
The 1.4L diesel has already been installed in more than 400,000 cars produced by the two partners. The addition of the 1.6 and the 2.0L engines should put the PSA/Ford venture well over two million units annually by 2005. The partners expect to reach a volume of over three million eventually.
There is also a 2.7L V-6 in the works as part of this venture, although it's rumored that one will be built at Ford's Dagenham engine plant in the U.K., where Ford has built various diesel engines ranging from 1.8 to 2.5L.
I have not seen the new engines but they certainly look good on paper. Both new engines employ a Garrett variable geometry turbocharger and both use 1,600 bar fuel systems.
The 1.6L features a Bosch system while the 2.0L engine uses Siemens. Both fuel systems can produce up to six injections per engine cycle. Both engines also feature a new advanced particle filter.
Ratings for the 1.6L are either 90 or 110 hp while the 2.0L is rated 136 hp. The V-6 diesel should come in at about 180 hp assuming similar design.
When the PSA/Ford venture was announced in 1998, I gave some feint praise but really would not have been surprised if it unraveled. Right now I have to say it's looking like the diesel deal of the century.